Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Here I raise my Ebenezer

As I read this morning, I think I figured out what an ebenezer is. We sing about raising it in church, but what does it mean to raise my ebenezer?

This has become an issue in modern worship. How do make relevant songs that have become outdated not so much because their language is archaic, but because biblical literacy is at an all-time low in churches?

As I read 1 Samuel 7 today I read, "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far has the Lord helped us.' Israel has experienced God's victory and Samuel raised this ebenezer as a monument to mark a restoration in the heart of Israel.'" The ebenezer is a reminder to all who pass by it of God's mercy and covenant. What a message of hope!

We must not move on to new worship music just because people, like myself, lack Biblical literacy because many of our old hymns are wonderful if their significance can be explained in a new and helpful way. Let us continue the ministry of Jerry Rushford. We must keep our history of hymns alive for a new generation. There are many wonderful songs being written today, but let us not write off the hymns of the past. As I have found today, the symbols of our past continue to speak volumes today.

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